Knowing what is the best cordless hammer drill isn’t just a difficult task, it’s also a subjective concept. Each one of us is working on different materials and budget so it’s just right to say that whatever cordless drill that tops your list would be dependent on the functionality you’re expecting. Anyway, this isn’t another blog post that will leave you hanging without an answer. Based on my experience, I’ll devise simple criteria and matrix that you can refer to before you purchase a cordless hammer drill.
If you’re a newbie who’s looking for your first tool or a pro planning to acquire additional equipment, this discussion is for you.
What’s The Difference?
Before you dive in purchasing a cordless hammer drill, you should know its difference from a corded type. This will give you realistic expectations as we discuss the topic. So what’s the difference?
Cordless drills can’t beat the power a corded type can provide you when it comes to hammer drilling. This is a no-brainer since we all know that cordless power tools are powered by batteries that may run out or corrode after a long period of use and storage. Still, this portable equipment is highly convenient. You can drill elevated and confined space without worrying about the power source.
Just remember cordless drills have more limitation than the usual corded ones.
A Single Piece or A Whole Toolkit?
What is the best cordless hammer drill? This depends on your budget and your need for additional accessories. Most toolkits will come with the drill, battery packs, a rapid charger, and even a storage bag or case. Without mentioning the price, for me, this is the best buy. Purchasing a single piece might mean difficulty finding complementing accessories whenever you need one.
On the other hand, single hammer drill pieces are still good choices if ever you already have other drill equipment. This can serve as another option if ever you can’t use your corded one or if you want to alternate between different cordless drills.
If you’re purchasing a hammer drill, you should know first that it may come with a keyless or keyed model. Keyless chucks are, of course, the most convenient. You no longer have to keep a key just to open and close the jaw of the chuck to remove a bit. Keyless chucks are also less prone to breaking or chipping, unlike the keyed type wherein the teeth may start to tear after extended use.
The only downside to a keyless hammer drill chuck is that it’s more expensive than a keyed one. This is understandable since the mechanism that allows a secure bit hold is way intricate to produce.
Hammer drills are powerful, thus it requires a massive source of energy. Going cordless might be a daunting idea especially if you’re working on time-bounded projects. Nevertheless, you can still enjoy the best of both worlds if you get one with a long-lasting battery and efficient runtime. So what is the best cordless hammer drill? Check the battery first!
Batteries for cordless hammer drills would usually be between 12V-20V of Lithium-ion. Some manufacturers would declare about 36V or more but you should read the labels well and look for the nominal voltage.
For DIY projects or simple household tasks like installing a handle on the cabinet, a 12V type is already a champ. If you’re into heavier work, the 20V is the safest bet.
If you’re not going to use your hammer drill all the time, opt for the 12V. This is so you can use the battery somewhere else, say your flashlight or radio, to prevent corrosion.
The key to knowing what is the best cordless hammer drill lies in choosing one that fits the job. Cordless hammer drills usually come in SDS chucks and can have either two modes or three modes. If you get the 2-mode SDS drill, you can have a rotary-only and a rotary hammer drill in one. This would be useful for light drilling and heavy work respectively.
On the other hand, the 3-mode SDS hammer drill would give you the two mentioned functions with the addition of the chiseling mode. The third function is very helpful when you have to remove old tiles or do some chipping on the material you’re working on, say wood.
Charging time is a crucial aspect when it comes to choosing the best cordless hammer drill. This will dictate how much time you have to wait before going back in action. So aside from having an efficient runtime, the charging should be less time-consuming.
Most cordless drill nowadays would come with a ‘rapid charger’. About how fast could that be, each brand has varying results. Some would need a 6-hour charge while others would take as much as 12 hours. But the defining aspect of what is the best cordless hammer drill is the Ah or ampere-hour of your cordless tool. You should get one with at least 3.0 Ah if you want the longest runtime, which of course depends on your usage.
If you think of using a cordless for a series of projects, you should expect a lot of time wasted on charging. But you can spare yourself from the hassle if you have more than one battery pack. Just keep in mind that it’s rare for a cordless drill to outperform a corded one. I had a very powerful cordless hammer drill before that can be at par with a corded one, but it will run out of battery when set in the highest RPM. You really can’t have it all with a cordless drill. Still, this convenient tool will give you more advantages than using a corded one alone.
The following brands are some of the top performing picks in the drill market. So what is the best cordless hammer drill based on brand? Here, I’ll give you a brief comparison of each one based on my own user experience, customer reviews, and overall specifications.
For years, I had been a loyal follower of DeWalt. They produce durable drills and bits alike and though some of it isn’t as amazing as the others, the brand deserves the recognition. When it comes to their cordless hammer drills, most models are beasts. The likes of DCH273B Hammer Bare Tool and DCD985B Hammer Drill Driver are my favorites because of their efficient runtime. Both are 20V and it drills on almost all surfaces I tried on.
One of the best thing about DeWalt is they give lavish warranty terms. Most of the time, it would be three years, unlike Bosch’s measly one year.
What I love the most about Bosch are their lawn mowers and other garden tools. When it comes to their selection of cordless hammer drills, I can say that DeWalt has the upper hand. Most of their drills are 18V which isn’t an issue if you’re working on heavy tasks like drilling metal or boring large holes using a saw bit.
Bosch knows how to impress in different ways. They can offer cheap drills while there are also high-end choices if you have the money to spend. Usually, their cordless drills would come with a case and battery packs which for me is a big plus point. But like what’s mentioned above, their warranty is a little depriving. Again, what is the best cordless hammer drill? Bosch can still be it.
Makita might not be as awesome as the DeWalt drills I had but for me, their cordless drills are indispensable equipment in my toolkit. They have a model like XT260 that can charge for a maximum of 30 minutes and works handsomely for some heavy tasks. Most of their models are amazingly lightweight and compact that makes it a favorite among DIYers and handymen in the house.
When it comes to power, the Makita cordless hammer drills can compete with Bosch’s. The upside is that this brand offers about three years of warranty on most of their models. Some even come with added perks!
The Milwaukee is one of my newest purchases after a month of contemplating its worth. And true enough, this one has something to give. Its cordless drills like the one I have, the Milwaukee 2602-22, work as hard as I am. It’s highly heat-resistant and can charge for as fast as 15 minutes so you can be back to drilling action. But of course, you have to charge it more for it to have more runtime.
Even contractors would agree that Milwaukee cordless drills are something that you would carry on your toolkit and have added peace of mind. It might sound too ecstatic, but based on experience, Milwaukee drill might soon overtake DeWalt if the latter won’t be watchful. What is the best cordless hammer drill? This has the potential!
Black & Decker
The Black & Decker has been in the industry for more than a century and it’s just right to give this ‘old man’ a recognition. And through the years of providing handymen tons of tools, this brand has learned how to give affordable but highly functional cordless drills.
They offer a wide range of options from 7V to 20V and are usually consistent in function. This isn’t a far cry from the likes of Bosch and DeWalt but Black & Decker stands out on their ‘project kits’. It’s an added perk for DIYers like me as it comes with a reasonable two-year warranty.
You might have heard about Hitachi, as you probably own a TV or a blender from the same brand. But when it comes to the drilling department, Hitachi will be a good choice if you’re looking for an average equipment. Still, this brand has a lot to offer especially if you’re on a budget.
Hitachi may not be the best of the best, just like what I had experienced, but its cordless drills last quite long.
If you want to know what is the best cordless hammer drill, you have to get the pulse of the buying public. Here, I made it easy for you so you can spare yourself from the burden of skimming through different brands. What do you think? Sound us off in the comment section!